By Tony George
I am off the races again in Big 12 Hoops action, and also the Mo Valley as my two specialty conferences, but I am finding huge success cherry picking the Books in the Big 12. Some teams are overrated and some teams underrated and we are getting close to mid season conference scenario.
I am finding great value with oddsmakers lines right now, and it should be noted that road games in the Big 12, like any other conference are very tough to get wins at, but conversley, many road dogs are covering some numbers, so I thought I might give you some pointers and some takes on Big 12 Hoops action.
This weekend I unloaded on Texas who was a 7 point pup and they beat Kansas SU by 11. KU is overrated on the national scale in my opinion and hvae had issues putting good teams away, as well as covering big numbers at home against conference foes. Last week they barely escaped a scrappy Nebraska team as a 16 point favorite winning by 3 points in a last minute thriller. They have had srtruggles on the road with close ones against Iowa State and also an OT thriller at Ann Arbor against an average Michigan team. This is NOT the Kansas team of old, and their frontcourt is not as strong as past years editions. Any team who defends the perimeter well and has a decent frontcourt is going to give Kansas problems. I can name 10 teams who can beat them on a nuetral floor, a number 2 ranking nationally is too high for KU.
Kansas State continues to be an enigma wrapped in a riddle, but the bottom line is that ANY team who can play a good defense, will beat K State. Thery are overrated and have no legit frontcourt and while their backcourt is better than average, too much emphasis on Pullen to score the majority of their points is killing the Wildcats, not to mention a 58% free throw percentage, that kills you in big games. They are 4-10 ATS on the year to date.
Texas has flexed their prowess the past week or so pounding a good Texas AM team by 21 in Austin and then going on the road and destroying Kansas. The Longhorns are a COVER MACHINE going 11-3 ATS in 14 lined games, and they are winning by double digit margins all over the place in conference action. I see no end in sight for them. They are a play on team.
Mizzou is also playing great basketball and they are starting to play some defense, and are maybe one of the better coached team in conference play alongside Texas AM. They have the ability to explode on offense as well and they are extremely strong at home. Vegas seems to like Mizzou and they have managed just 8 covers in 15 lined games, but are a dangerous team, but just 1-3 SU on t he road.
BEST AND WORST
Your Go With Teams ATS right now who are playing great basketball are Texas and Texas AM. Your against team on the road is Nebraska and Texas Tech and Kansas State. I would continue to go against K State with a line at home over 6 points with the exception of playing Texas Tech. My sleeper teams are Baylor and Colorado, and Colorado is dangerous at home against anyone.
My Power rankings to date are:
Texas AM 85
Oklahoma State 80
Iowa State 78 (tie)
Kansas State 76
Texas Tech 72
Allow 3 points at home for Texas, Kansas, Colorado and Okie State. The rest of the teams I allow a 2 point overlay against the spread for homecourt.
I will update these ratings in the near future and offer up another Big 12 report in 2 weeks.
Vegas Butcher - Various factors...I award points of value for Off. ppg, defensive ppg allowed, strength of schedule (RPI), recent performance index (last 5 games averages), depth, coaching, 3 ppg %, free throw percentage and turnover ratios.
There is an asigned value on a scale for each of these and when I add then up I come up with a number. This is WHY I only do 2 conferences to specialize in, because it is almost a daily thing to update and is very time consuming. There is a great website I use their pwoer rastings for other conferences whom I respect and use but will keep that classified.....I have to have a few secrets.
It should also be noted that doing a nightly talk show on an ESPN affiliate for 8 years, has afforded me hundreds of interviews with local sportswriters whom I tap daily and make emails or calls to about certian games, most are daily beat sportswriters who are VERY close to key programs, attend practices and press conferences and have a great feel for their local team, and they are surprisingly unbiased in most cases....that information is invaluable.
I also know a syndicate runner in Vegas and take care of him (couple cases of Omaha steaks a year) as well when it comes to big moves by sharps...I have known him for 15 years...great Vegas source.
Hope this answers your question in short form.
Quick question. How do you come up with the 'values' for your Power Rankings...thanks
Looking forward to it.
PS63 - Yes I will be doing a Mo Valley one next week, there are some KEY games this week and weekend in the MVC and I want to see how things shake out before doing a mid season report card.
The MVC is not as strong in the mid major category as it has been in years past and the top is alittle cloudy right now...I have a dismal 4-3 record this season to date but that will begin to improve as things shake out alittle.
Thanks Tony. Good info. Are you going to do one of these on MVC?
Good stuff Tony . . . for those that don't know, Tony has been considered a top Big 12 expert for many years!